The Best Mechanical Pencil Lead Reviews [A Complete Buying Guide]

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Tired of mechanical pencil leads that break whenever you try to write or draw something? Probably the lead is made of poor-quality materials. It’s time to switch to a better mechanical pencil lead that will allow you to write or draw smoothly without snapping frequently.

In this guide, we are going to talk about the best mechanical pencil lead that will be a great match for your writing or drawing practices. So, let’s delve into our topic to find out more about these pencil leads.

Our Top Picks

7 Best Mechanical Pencil Lead Reviews

Among many of the quality mechanical pencils, we have selected only 7 so that you can select the right one easily.

1. Bild Premium Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills (HB, 0.7 mm)

Bild Premium Lead refills are a great choice for writing. If your goal is to write smoothly, these leads are for you. However, don’t apply too much pressure while writing, it may break the lead.

These amazing leads work fine with all mechanical pencils that require a 0.7 mm lead. Consider these leads a new substitute for #2 pencils because with these 0.7 mm leads you can write the same as a #2 pencil.

The Bild Lead refills can be a top option for your office or school tasks. You can even easily carry them in your school backpack. If you decide to keep the leads in a tiny space in your work desk drawer, they will easily fit there.

Highlighted Features:

  • The refills leave a nice, dark line.
  • Suits any 0.7mm mechanical pencil.
  • Doesn’t tear papers; ensures smooth writing experiences.

2. June Gold 820 Pieces, 0.3 mm 2B Lead Refills

The June Gold 0.3mm lead refills are an awesome selection for offices or schools. The leads come in dispensers that are designed for convenience. You can easily store them in a tiny space.

If you decide to take these leads to your office, school, or anywhere, you can easily and safely carry them as long as they are inside the dispenser. Plus, the dispensers will help you dispense the leads effortlessly.

These industry-standard 0.3mm 2B leads are 60mm tall which will easily suit any 0.3mm mechanical pencil. Eliminate all your mistakes easily using an eraser. And forget sharpening your pencil again as long as you have these 0.3mm 2B lead refills.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes with 4 conveniently designed dispensers; effortless dispensing.
  • Leads suit 0.3mm mechanical pencil from any brand.
  • Leads leave a fine pencil mark; clear writing experiences.

3. Pentel® Super Hi-Polymer® Leads, 0.5 mm, 2B

Pentel 0.5mm lead refills are industry-standard leads that ensure a smoother writing experience. If your aim is to achieve clean handwriting, these Super Hi-Polymer leads should be your first choice because they ensure low-smudge lines.

These leads leave nice and darker marks, ideal for your drawings. Plus, these pencil leads prevent fading and smearing so you get clean lines that are easy to read. And the lead will not tear your paper so you don’t need to worry about ugly tear marks on the paper.

These high-quality leads are ideal for school or office work. Plus these lead refills suit most 0.5mm Pentel mechanical pencils as well as other 0.5mm standard mechanical pencils. The lead glides smoothly on the paper ensuring you a pleasant writing experience.

Highlighted Features:

  • Crisp lines are easier to read.
  • Lead leaves finely darker, low-smudge lines.
  • Lines are erasable; you can easily erase the mistakes.
  • Doesn’t tear papers; smooth writing experience.

4. Mr. Pen 0.7 Millimeter Lead Refills for Mechanical Pencils

Mr. Pen Lead Refills are great for daily writing practices as well as for taking tests. The leads ensure you a smooth writing experience. So, you can always count on these leads for your exams. Plus, these lead shades well and are an excellent choice for drawing.

The leads come in 4 easy-to-dispense containers so you can easily open and dispense the lead. And the containers are clear, so you can see how many leads are left inside. Plus, these lead containers are kids friendly; they can easily carry them to school.

You can store the leads even if there is a tiny space in your drawer and don’t worry about breaking them as long as they are inside the lead container. These 0.7mm mechanical pencil lead refills will suit standard 0.7mm mechanical pencils of any brand.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes with clear dispensers; easy to open and dispense.
  • Leads suit any standard 0.7mm mechanical pencils.
  • Leads leave fine, darker lines.

5. QTS Mechanical Pencil Lead Refills

The QTS mechanical pencil lead refills are made of graphite material and are 1.3mm thick which makes fine wider lines. The leads give you a smooth writing experience. That’s why the leads are a great choice for regular school tasks or handwriting practices.

The leads are 60mm long and 1.3mm in thickness and they fit any 1.3mm mechanical pencils. Being 1.3mm in thickness, the leads are great for kids as they leave thicker lines and are not that easy to break.

Don’t worry about your mistakes and making the whole paper cloudy, you can simply erase all of the unnecessary lines using a good quality eraser. And don’t worry about carrying them or storing them as well, because the leads come inside a safe container.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes in clear containers; easy to open and dispense.
  • Suitable for any 1.3mm mechanical pencils.
  • Made of graphite material; leaves standard dark marks.

6. Nicpro 1200 PCS Lead Refills 0.7mm HB

If you are looking for a pencil lead that smoothly writes school or office tasks, you should give it a try with Nicpro lead refills. These leads give you a smooth writing experience so it’s a great choice for regular handwriting practices as well.

The leads are anti-fading so you can make a perfect sketch with them. The 0.7mm leads will give you standard line width. And if you are a person who needs to frequently use an eraser to remove mistakes, don’t worry, you can easily erase the marks.

The standard 0.7mm lead refills will fit in Nicpro mechanical pencils as well as almost all 0.7mm standard mechanical pencils. The leads come inside clear container tubes, so no worries about storing and carrying them.

Highlighted Features:

  • Suitable for most 0.7mm mechanical pencils.
  • Comes in clear containers; is easy to store, carry, and dispense.
  • Leaves anti-fading marks, ideal for drawing and writing.

7. Uni NanoDia Color Mechanical Pencil Leads 0.5mm

If you are an artsy person, looking for the best mechanical pencil lead for drawing, you should definitely check the Uni NanoDia color leads out. These leads come in a wide range of 7 color sets so you can pick the right color for the right purpose.

The leads come in individual color packs which include Red, Pink, Orange, Green, Mint Blue, Blue, and Lavender colors. You can easily carry and store them in their packs.

The 0.5mm lead refills fit easily in any standard 0.5mm mechanical pencils. And if you need to frequently use an eraser to remove mistakes, you can easily erase the marks. Sometimes you may need to erase a little bit hard.

Highlighted Features: 

  • The lines are smooth and erasable.
  • Leads keep a fine point; you don’t need to sharpen them.
  • No issues with breaking when using proper pressure.

Things to Consider when Buying the Best Lead for Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical pencils can be used for various purposes like drawing or writing. That’s why different types of leads will work great for different purposes. Here are the things you need to look at in a pencil lead so that you can get the best results out of it.

The Right Diameter:

The first thing you need to check while buying pencil leads is the diameter of the lead. You will need leads of different diameters to perform specific tasks such as writing or sketching.

Generally speaking, 0.5 mm leads are very common and are widely used for writing or sketching. 0.7 mm leads are thicker than the 0.5 mm leads and these are useful for sketching. You can also use them on non-detailed works and long-hand drafting too.

0.9 mm leads are thicker than all of the leads above and these leads can be a great choice for playing Sudoku or similar games on paper. And finally, we have 0.3 which is the thinnest of all leads here. Probably you won’t be able to draw or write with it properly but you can add details to drawings with it.

Also, different pencils use leads of different diameters. That’s why you can’t mess with this; you will not get satisfactory results if you use a lead with the wrong diameter. To find the proper lead diameter for your pencil, check the body of your mechanical pencil.

The Hardness of the Lead:

You will need to choose the hardness of the lead based on the type of your work. First, determine which kind of pencil marks you need for your work, for example, do you need a thicker mark or a light and fine mark, etc?

Based on your writing or drawing style, you can choose a soft lead for a thick mark and a hard lead for a fine and light mark. There are ways to check the hardness of the lead. Let’s discuss those.

  • Hard Lead: Harder leads leave a fine and light pencil mark. You can identify them by the letter H. Normally there will be a number before the letter H. This number defines the hardness of the pencil. The larger the number, the harder the lead, like 2H, 3H, 4H, etc
  • Medium Lead: When we are talking about medium leads, H medium represents the hardest lead which is similar to a no.3 pencil. If you want a pencil lead the same as a no. 2½ pencil lead, use an F medium lead. And if you want to replace a no. 2 pencil lead, use an HB medium lead. And lastly, you will find B leads similar to no. 1 pencil leads while writing. These are the softest leads here.
  • Soft Lead: You can identify the soft leads by the letter B. There will be a number before the letter B which indicates the softness of the lead. The softness of the lead is proportional to the increase in the number. The larger the number, the softer the lead. So, a 3B pencil will surely be softer than a 2B pencil.

Your Writing Style:

Pencil leads can leave a significant impact on the comfort of your writing. If you don’t apply too much pressure while writing, you may feel very uncomfortable with hard leads. So, you can avoid those leads.

On the other hand, if you apply heavy pressure while writing, you may find some leads are breaking more often than others. These leads are most probably fine points. So, you can use leads with medium thickness from the medium hardness range or harder range. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is 0.5 or 0.7 lead better?

To be honest, I would say that it totally depends on your preferences. The number indicates the thickness of the leads, that’s all. This has most likely to do nothing with the hardness or the softness of the lead.

It’s obvious that 0.7mm leads will be thicker than the 0.5mm leads. As a result, you will get wider lines from the 0.7mm compared to 0.5mm leads.

Some may find 0.7mm leads to be comfortable for drawing and 0.5mm leads for writing. But that’s totally up to their preferences. If you are comfortable with 0.7mm leads for writing, you can stick to it, don’t switch to 0.5mm.

Which lead is better HB or 2B?

This depends on your work. Firstly, know that the leads of 2B pencils are softer leads, and pencils that are marked as HB have medium lead.

2B leads are smoother than HB but are not going to stay sharp. You can use these leads when you need to draw shadows or fill dark areas in your drawing. On the other hand, an HB pencil can be considered an all-purpose pencil. The lead leaves marks dark enough to be noticed easily while maintaining a sharp point.

What Is the Most Popular Lead Size?

0.50 mm leads are the most popular and smoothest leads. These are commonly used by all kinds of consumers.

The size of lead can vary. Leads of mechanical pencils are found in different sizes. 0.30 mm leads are the thinnest ones and 0.90 mm leads are the thickest ones.

Being in the midst, 0.5 mm leads have gained much popularity among users. Moreover, 0.7 mm leads are also very popular for writing. These will have longer durability due to less use of ink and write smoother than too-thick leads.

Which Lead Thickness Is Best?

0.5 mm thick lead is the best. Such leads are perfect to meet your writing needs. A mechanical pencil that has a 0.5 mm lead will write spontaneously on even hard surfaces. It is generally good for artists or writers. But for special uses, one can choose the perfect one from the variety of leads!

What Mechanical Pencil Lead Is Best for Drawing?

Mechanical graphite pencils that have a 0.5 mm to 0.7 mm HB lead are best for drawing.

People who draw as professional tasks or habits have various choices. Many of them prefer mechanical pens for drawing. But one might fall into difficulty when s/he has to choose the perfect pen.

Normally artists prefer medium size leads. You can find pens of 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, and 0.9 mm leads but too thick or thin lead may cause problems.

Which Mechanical Pencil Lead Is Best for Sketching?

For sketching, soft and thicker mechanical pencil leads are better. You can choose 0.7 mm or 0.9 mm leads to sketch.

Skechers around the world has shown their love for mechanical pens. These pens are soft and durable. You don’t need to sharpen them so often to get fluent drawing.

They prefer thick leads as they generally draw much more than normal artists. Drawing shades and darkening requires thick leads.

Which Mechanical Pencil Lead Is Best for Writing?

A 0.7 to 0.9 mm lead is the best for writing. But a 0.5 mm lead can work fine as well!

Writers need to write for a longer duration and if the pen gets broken or blunt after a while, they naturally get very irritated. That is why a writer should choose thick enough pens.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best leads for mechanical pencils can be a little bit tricky especially when there are tons of brands in the market. In this article, we picked some of the ideal mechanical pencils lead to making your work easier.

Also, we talked about the things that you need to look for in a mechanical pencil lead so that you can choose the perfect mechanical pencil lead always.

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